Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pickles, 2004 - May 30th, 2012


“There are four questions of value in life... What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love.” – Don Juan de Marco


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A better title for this post might be – “Man Plans, God Laughs”. I’m a little bitter right now.

A deep chasm inside of me aches like nothing I ever felt before. Pickles taught me so much about life. I have no idea how to live inside my deafness without her.

The lines from Roberta Flack’s song “Killing Me Softly With His Words” -  Strumming my pain with his fingers, Singing my life with his words, Killing me softly with his song, Killing me softly with his song, Telling my whole life with his words; keep reverberating down to skin and bones. We had our own language, words that only we shared between animal and human, an understanding no-one else could ever apprehend; words that are killing me softly as I sit here mourning for my sweet friend.

Pickles died from an extremely aggressive form of Leukemia yesterday. There wasn’t a single clue to indicate she had cancer, until it was too late. Everything was fine at her last vet visit, then last Wednesday she had a seizure. By Memorial day she was at the Emergency Vets getting X-rays and Lab work done – sneezing blood all over. I was afraid of an upper respiratory infection, or even some form of dog Epilepsy. I would give anything…if only that had been true.

That night the vet thought she might have a week or two left – by morning it was downgraded to mere days, hours…Without any warning, I was losing my precious girl, my ears, my heart. I would never have imagined this ending for her in a million years. She had to be in such extreme pain and never once did she whimper or bark. Even up till the end she tried to protect me.

Then there’s Pickles puppy – Bjarki. Two months ago I picked out a puppy for Pickles. I wanted a puppy to grow up around her and form a bond with her before she went fully blind. The month before his arrival, I kept telling Pickles he was her puppy to help her accept him into the house. They adored each other. She became so protective of him. In turn, he taught her how to play like a normal dog. I remember laughing when he would pick up her leash and try to lead her, like a match made in heaven.

Bjarki stands for little bear in Icelandic - protector. He was supposed to be her protector, her helpmate, her friend…her puppy. I can’t describe how much it hurt to separate them when she became so sick. They would stare at each other across the gate yearning. At night she would sneak downstairs and sleep under the computer desk beside his crate. How am I supposed to raise this little guy without her? He was never supposed to be mine…oh, this hurts so deep.

She’s buried in the myrtle where she loved to wander. Bjarki is making a habit of going directly to her grave whenever we go outside, then he trails along the yard to her favorite places. As hard as it is, I can’t refuse. He’s trying desperately to hang onto her scent. Today he picked up a stuffed lamb that belonged to her and tried to carry it out the door with him, without a doubt to her gravesite.

Pickles taught me to be a writer; she showed me how to be still within the silence in order to really see the world more clearly. I can’t find my stillness amid this pain that shatters me to the core. She was my everything, I’m empty without her, the world is in sharp contrast made of sterile rationalizations that cut deep into a soul.

“I wish the world wouldn't be so cold, as to take such a beautiful soul.” OPM- Brighter Side

I'm lost without you sweet friend...